Tuesday, January 16, 2018

UWI students support Wayne


KUBLALSINGH LAUDED: Marvin George, post-graduate cultural studies student, and a fellow student sign a banner in support of hunger striker Dr Wayne Kublalsingh's stance during yesterday's gathering of the campus community at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine. –Photo: STEPHEN DOOBAY

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THE resolve of Dr Wayne Kublalsingh was lauded, while the arrogance of Government spokespersons was chided yesterday as more than 100 people marched around the St Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies.

The event was held to "recognise the immense selfless conviction" shown by Kublalsingh, a part-time UWI lecturer who is currently engaged in a hunger strike in protest of the construction of a portion of the Point Fortin highway.

The event started around noon at the campus Quadrangle in St Augustine.

Around 12.23 p.m., the group, including students and lecturers, began to walk in a northerly direction from the Quadrangle, clapping as they went around the campus.

At the end, they returned to the Quadrangle, where there was an open mike session.

Gitana Boodai, a member of the Highway Re-Route Movement and UWI student, praised Kublalsingh for his selfless leadership.

"Dr Kublalsingh took on this hunger strike through desperation," Boodai said. "Dr Kublalsingh is a very, very great individual."

Kublalsingh's colleagues also came out in support of him.

Dr Maarit Forde read a letter written by Dr Tia Cooper, Dr Nicole Roberts and herself.

"Having known and worked with Dr Kublalsingh for years, we are inspired by his relentless struggle for a transparent and responsible style of governance and for environmentally-sustainable development.

"His sacrifice reminds us of the importance of constructive dialogue, especially around difficult and controversial policy decisions," Forde read.

Artiste Muhammad Muwakil slammed National Security Minister Jack Warner for statements made about Kublalsingh during a meeting in Penal on Monday night.

Muwakil said a photograph posted on Facebook of Kublalsingh inside Subway, purporting to have taken place last week, was disrespectful.

A female student chided her schoolmates for their "apathy" toward the issue.

A sheet of paper approximately four feet long was left for participants to write their views on the impasse.

All of the writings praised Kublalsingh for his effort.